North Dakota is a hidden gem for bird watching especially in the spring and summer months. The unique ecosystems of the immense badlands, grasslands and prairie potholes provides a birder with a wide range of bird families to observe. The huge area of the badlands and grasslands are known for nesting grassland birds such as sandpipers, grouse, and sparrows. North Dakota has shortgrass, mixed grass and tallgrass prairies. The potholes are an expansive area within the Great Plains that contain thousands of shallow wetlands. They fill in with water in the spring and provide vital nesting habitat for dozens of waterfowl species and other wetland associated species. This week-long birding road trip will take us to the southwestern corner of North Dakota where we will bird the prairies of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Little Missouri River National Grassland. We will then head east to the pothole region of central North Dakota where we will bird the many birding hotspots of Kidder and Stutsman Counties. On this trip we can expect 150-175 species. North Dakota is an area where lots of eastern birds reach the western most point of their range while western birds reach the eastern most point of their range so we can be sure to find some unique and unusual birds no matter where you are from! In some areas we visit be prepared to be shocked by the shear number of birds that are present!
Some of the Birds We Hope to See
Western Grebe, American White Pelican, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Golden Eagle, Northern Harrier, Upland Sandpiper (scarce), Black-billed Cuckoo, Burrowing Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker, Prairie Falcon, Say’s Phoebe, Black-billed Magpie, Rock Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird, Ferruginous Hawk, Gray Partridge, Piping Plover, LeConte’s Sparrow, Nelson’s Sparrow, Sharp-tailed Sparrow, and Chestnut-collared Longspur and many more.